Soup glorious soup! I have told you a million times that I
am obsessed with love soup. I could sing about it, or cheer about it!
I actually did. No seriously, ask Kevin, he was thinking about having me committed.
I was listening to music and bouncing around my kitchen making this soup (thinking I was alone mind you) and I,
well, this is what happened...
Me - Gimme an S.....gimme an O....gimme a U......gimme a P....what's that spell?
Kevin - (from around the corner) Soup.....DUH! (walking into the kitchen) Have you been hitting the cooking wine again?
I had no comeback for that one gang. For once, I was speechless
All joking aside, I had such a good time making this soup. I knew I wanted to lighten it up, but I also decided (thanks to Mr Soup Is Not a Meal) that I wanted to leave it a bit chunkier than your typical cream soup. Make it a bit heartier if you will.
Plus I wanted to do the bread bowl think because I had never done it before and, well I just thought it would be kind of cool to surprise Kevin with.
While the soup was cooking I baked off the bread, then cut the tops off and scooped out the middles. I didn't want to waste all of the bread.
So I took the "lids" out to Kevin with some butter and informed him that he was eating at an upscale restaurant tonight. We provide bread before dinner.
He just stared at me.
Well it sounded funny in my head.
Thank goodness I can cook!!
End of story? Kevin loved the soup and didn't even break into the sausage I had bought just in case he complained there was no meat.
Lightened Up Broccoli Cheddar Soup
4 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 pounds fresh broccoli, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups fat free evaporated milk
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Fresh cracked black pepper
4 7-inch sourdough bread boules (round loaves)
2 cups reduced fat sharp yellow cheddar cheese, shredded
Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, then gradually whisk in the half-and-half until smooth. Add the chicken broth, bay leaves and nutmeg, then season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the bread bowls: Using a sharp knife, cut a circle into the top of each loaf, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Remove the bread top, then hollow out the middle with a fork or your fingers, leaving a thick bread shell.
Add the broccoli and carrot to the broth mixture and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Mash the vegetables with a potato masher until they are the texture you want. You can use an immersion blender (or regular blender) if you prefer a creamier soup.
Add the cheese to the soup and whisk over medium heat until melted. Add up to 3/4 cup water if the soup is too thick. Ladle into the bread bowls and garnish with cheese.